I’ve lived in this area since 1988 and spent many years since then commuting back and forth to London, mainly working in media. My last London-based media role was Commercial Director for Virgin Media TV where we produced and distributed TV channels like LIVING, Virgin 1, Bravo, Challenge, Trouble etc; which all came to an end in 2011 when Sky bought us. Prior to Virgin Media TV I had been commercial director at Flextech Television and Broadcast Director at Initiative Media. A great privilege of these roles was to reap the benefits of the investment my employers made in ‘people development’ – my development! This comprised of profiling, training days and regular coaching; that I found really enabling and transformative.
One of the amazing ‘people development’ providers who trained me, Hexagon Training, suggested many years back that I had the right qualities to do the people development thing. Agreeing with them, I got myself duly qualified and eventually started working with them when I finished at Virgin; training and coaching people working for companies like Virgin and Kingfisher.
My passion is people development and in August I launched WorkLife Development, a people profiling, coaching and training service for organisations, teams and individuals for personal and professional development. We do the kind of people development work that I used to enjoy and have made it accessible to anyone! You can learn more at our website www.worklifedevelopment.co.uk
With the benefit of my experience running training programmes and delivering coaching, I cut the waffle and offer people development to anyone via a combination of questionnaires and coaching sessions.
To find interpersonal needs we use the FIRO-B profiling tool, developed by William Schutz who was fathoming the puzzle of how to cast the crew for US nuclear armed submarines, armed with weapons that could blow up the world. Schutz had to produce a very accurate tool for predicting people’s behaviour. He was part of the peer-group at the University of Chicago that included Carl Rogers, Thomas Gordon, Abraham Maslow and Elias Porter. Schutz’s theory was broadly based on the premise that beyond our basic human needs we each have unique interpersonal needs that strongly motivate us.
FIRO-B profiles offer amazing insights into interpersonal needs and behaviours, and yield practical suggestions for improving relationships or increasing effectiveness. Interpersonal behaviour is any behaviour that occurs between others and we all have a fairly unique combination of interpersonal needs that influence that behaviour. The FIRO-B measures interpersonal needs, predicts how you will come across in terms of your behaviour towards others, and how you would like other people to behave towards you – to a proven accuracy level of 93%.
Our interpersonal needs can be managed as you might do with your basic needs, ie, they are not fixed, but at the time of taking a FIRO-B evaluation they will be a very good reading of your interpersonal needs. It can provide insight into how and why conflicts do and don’t develop between people. Understanding this, we can then manage our own needs better as we interact with others. It takes 15 minutes to complete the FIRO-B questionnaire and I deliver the interpretation in writing alongside a one hour session.
We use a bespoke questionnaire to illicit meta-patterns – the software of our brains. Patterns are not about who we are but more about how and why we do things. Hence, we are able to run all the patterns to some degree or another and will use different patterns depending on the context, time and our own emotional state. There is no right and wrong in the world of patterns, although certain combinations may be more useful than others in certain situations. Each pattern is a continuum and there are no absolutes, as humans are infinitely flexible and no one responds in exactly the same way to every stimulus.
Meta Patterns can be divided into two basic types: Motivational ones, which provide information on how someone triggers their motivation (ie what gets them started); and Working ones, which provide information on how they maintain their motivation. That is, how they deal with the information presented to them and how they get convinced about something; how they decide and how they ‘work’ or ‘do’. Identification of meta patterns and fathoming which ones you prefer to run delivers real insight and raises self-awareness. Understanding your default patterns, your auto-pilot is a key plank in personal development and growth; and ultimately getting where you want to be. Our questionnaire can elicit these meta patterns and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Armed with the meta patterns and the FIRO-B outputs you will know a significant amount more about yourself than you do now. Simply being aware of your interpersonal needs and meta pattern preferences means that you can master them.
We prefer to do profiling before coaching anyone; it saves a lot of time and makes connection much quicker. The coaching process is simple: it helps you get from where you are to where you want to be. Although coaching has been practised in sport and other disciplines for centuries, it is only a relative recent phenomenon when applied to people’s lives in the everyday world. It emerged strongly in the 1980s, born from the NLP movement and has since flourished to become something that many of us have experienced and used.
Coaching is not counselling, and does not seek to supplant that profession. Its purpose is, essentially, to encourage an individual to maximise their potential and work towards the realisation of what they want. A coaching process uses enquiry and questioning techniques to help create awareness and responsibility. It provides the individual with structure, support, feedback and follow-on procedures to ensure the longevity of such meaningful work.
I am very lucky to already have a couple of clients taking our training programmes and I would love to work with people locally, individuals or organisations who want to benefit from the services we offer – the profiling and coaching. I have rooms at Dolphin House in New Road for coaching and am very happy to visit people’s offices or homes in the locality.
David Cuff, Senior Managing Partner, WorkLife Development